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Replacing a ship’s bow no problem for EBH

Replacing a ship’s bow no problem for EBH

An oil tanker that had its nosecone damaged in a collision left Walvis Bay this week after local ship repair company, Elgin Brown and Hamer (EBH), fit a new bow in two ticks.

The Huascar had to have its bulbous bow repaired and looked no further than the company with the proven track record, and capability, EBH Namibia.

The vessel owners sent an initial enquiry to EBH in 2016 after which a proposal for repairs was submitted. But later it transpired the damage was more extensive than first impressions and EBH had to go for an alternative solution.

A site inspection, coinciding with the tanker’s trading patterns between Togo and Nigeria, was then proposed and undertaken in September 2016; for which EBHN sought the assistance of highly-skilled naval architects, 6Sigma.

“The challenge we faced was that the bow section of the Huascar was constructed of double curved plating. To remove this first and then repair it would have been very time-consuming; and therefore could have cost the owners a significant sum in lost charter fees. In keeping with EBH’s dedication to the very highest standards of client satisfaction, we came up with a superior option,” said Willie Esterhuyse, Commercial and Marketing Manager at EBH Namibia.

The EBH project team then devised a ‘total solution’ repair strategy; which would not only save the vessel owners significantly financially, but also in terms of operational time.

This option featured a reduced project repair time of just 20 days; and an approximately 10% reduction in the overall cost of the repairs.

“This repair strategy was to pre-fabricate the bulbous bow completely before the vessel was dry-docked. With the new section complete and ready for fitting, the Huascar could then be docked at our Namdock 3 Panamax-sized dock, and the damaged bow swopped out for the newly fabricated bow,” Esterhuyse elaborated.

In November 2016, the owners accepted the proposal allowing EBH sufficient time to immediately start sourcing materials and building the new nosecone. The Huascar set sail for Walvis Bay.

“At an overall length of 176 m, breadth of 32.2m and weighing 25,060 tons, the Huascar is the widest and heaviest vessel ever lifted by EBH; and our Namdock 3 Panamax-sized dock really came into its own in accommodating this vessel,” according to Esterhuyse.

EBHN’s rigging team quickly dismounted the damaged bow; as well as the safe and very precise positioning and installation of the new bow.

“We are delighted that the client was extremely pleased with the innovative, fast, cost-effective service that EBH Namibia’s fabrication, propulsion and mechanical teams delivered,” commented Hannes Uys, the CEO of EBH Namibia.

About The Author

SADC Correspondent

SADC correspondents are independent contributors whose work covers regional issues of southern Africa outside the immediate Namibian ambit. Ed.